Monthly Archives: March 2016

GOOGLE’S LATEST EXPERIMENT ALLOWS USERS TO CALL/TEXT GOOGLE TO FIND A LOCAL SERVICE PROVIDER

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Google in the recent times has been experimenting a lot on developing new advertising strategies to deliver more value to its existing advertisers. From addition of new AdWords editor to simplifying Google Analytics services for businesses and offering 24-hours AdWords support to Search Advertisers, we have seen Google do it all. Continuing the sequence, Google added a new feature to the ads that allow searchers to contact (via call or text) Google to find local service providers. Joe Goldstein of Navolutions was the first to spot the newly added feature, when a Google search on “plumber los gatos” resulted in an ad reading “Call Google to find a trusted local plumber.”

google-call-text-experiment

On clicking this ad, he was directed to a dedicated landing page of a new service titled “Concierge”, which for the time being addresses plumbing related queries only. By using this new feature, you can make a call or text Google directly to get in touch with a trustworthy and reliable service provider in your area.

When you dial the number, a Google representative will discuss your concerns and based on your requirement will assign a service provider to get in touch with you. After that, a pre-screened and Google recommended service provider will give you a call in the next few hours to book an appointment.

“We do the research, you choose the right plumber”, read the tagline at the top of the pre-screened list of plumbers recommended by Google. Which means that the users will get calls from the pre-screened list of Google backed service providers in the area and based on their quotes one can choose the business that fits their requirements and budget.

What Google’s trying to convey through the experiment?

By adding a human component to the proceedings, Google may be acknowledging the fact that it’s search engine capabilities are falling short of expectations or that it has completely lost confidence in its algorithmic searches when it comes to returning with information pertaining to the most reliable and trustworthy service providers.

Through its latest experiment, Google’s accepted the fate of its home service ads debacle launched last summer, which fell short of the company’s expectations. With this new experiment, Google is trying to convey that it’s moving away from the automated algorithmic searches in a new direction. But only time will tell how successful Google’s latest endeavor will turn out to be.

For more info, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

NOW USERS CAN SWAP FACEBOOK’S DEFAULT EMOJI REACTIONS THROUGH BROWSER’S EXTENSION SUPPORT

facebook-like

If you’re bored of using the standard set of emoji expressions for your reaction to a Facebook post then there’s some good news in store for you. Wanna know what? Read on…

Facebook recently rolled out an Emoji Reaction pack to go with its Like button. A few weeks later, Google’s Chrome browser and Mozilla’s Firefox released a new browser extension that enables Facebook users to swap the standard reaction pack with sets of customs reactions, including DiCaprio and Donald Trump.

facebook-emoji

The browser extension of Facebook’s Reaction Pack was developed by Rodney Folz. It allows Facebook enthusiasts to choose from a cool collection of reaction packs featuring politicians, Hollywood celebs, animated caricatures, etc. and swap them with Facebook’s default emoji reaction pack. However, there’s no new reaction added to the tally of the old reactions, which included Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry. If you want to publish your own reaction pack then you can do so here.

To give you a brief account of the proceedings so far, in the previous month, Facebook rolled out a set of emoji Reactions to go with their Like button, globally. This was to allow users to post their reactions in the form of sadness, wow, anger, love and laughter emojis. This development happened after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s statement in September last year stating that the company was contemplating adding a “dislike” button. The statement sparked off an online debate on whether this will add to cyber bullying incidents and spread negativity on the number one ranked social networking site. But contrary to the media reports, Facebook launched a set of emoji reactions to go with their traditional “Like” button.

Moreover, the company said that the users’ reactions on the site will also be used to study consumer behavior. The company will then serve ads to the users on their timelines based on their findings. Facebook’s blog post reads, “We will initially use any Reaction similar to a Like to infer that you want to see more of that type of content.” But so far Facebook’s reactions have received mixed reviews from the users of the site.

Do you “Like” this? Please let us know by writing to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

GOOGLE TO COMPLETELY REMOVE TOOLBAR PAGERANK FEATURE FROM THE BROWSER

google-pagerank

Google reportedly confirmed to some media channels that it has decided to remove the Toolbar PageRank feature from its browser. This, however, means that in the near future you may not be able to see Google’s PageRank feature in the browser you use for surfing the internet.

Talking about this latest development, Google clarified that the PageRank data is still being used by the company for some internal purposes within the ranking algorithm, but it’s withdrawing the external support from the browser’s Toolbar.

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Image Source: http://searchengineland.com/what-is-google-pagerank-a-guide-for-searchers-webmasters-11068

Over the years, Google had stopped updating the external PageRank score. Hence, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they are now scrapping the feature completely from the Toolbar and the browser in next couple of weeks.

Having said that, if you want more information about Google’s PageRank feature, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF SECOND-TIER LINKS

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Second-Tier Link Building: The Basic Premise

As you must be aware, building links to your website constitutes your first tier links. Your second tier links are those formed by building links to pages that link to your website.

To build second tier links, all you need to do is link to something new that returns your favor by linking to your site. You can achieve that by leveraging your social media presence to advertise content that links to your official website. Similar results can achieved by asking other publishers to link their article to one of your creations.

This process will do a world of good not only to for your search rankings, but also to the overall traffic to your site. National businesses often make use of second tier links to achieve superior search rankings. They usually “nofollow” those links after achieving desired results.

Given below is how you initiate the second tier link building process to your website.

second-tier-link

Let’s take a look at the number of referring domains to the page.

second-tier-link-ref-domains

As you can see there are 20 domains linking to that particular article. This means that there are 20 potential opportunities for someone to locate the page, plus the possible click-throughs to the site. Now that is worth a try, ain’t it?

Another such instance is a site called slideshare.net, which displays an author’s profile page linking to his website, as shown below.

second-tier-link-slideshare

Now see the number of referring domains pointing to that author’s Slideshare presence.

second-tier-link-ref-domains-slideshare

The number of referring domains, as you can see, are 90. This simply means that the author can look forward to 90 potential opportunities for someone to locate their main website. This is how you attract quality traffic to your site. It’s worth a look, right?

But like everything else, there are some dos and don’ts that you need to follow.

Dos

  • Increase your site engagement levels by socializing with the domain that links you in the first place.
  • Invest some of your precious time to build links to those domains much in the way you do for your main website. If someone had referred to your content previously through your main website, write more relevant content and let them know about it.
  • Follow the same quality guidelines to develop some valuable second-tier links to your site.
  • Realize that the site that links to you must be commanding more online authority than your official web presence. In case, you get a chance to write for a major publication, you’ll get more linking opportunities to generate links to your site through your brand new blog article.

Don’ts

  • Be careful not to link your site with domains that are low on authority
  • Don’t go overboard when asking for links. It gets a bit cheesy when you include more than one URL in your email communication and stand a chance to be labeled, by the webmaster, as the one using emailers for promoting their website. That doesn’t look good and doesn’t serve your purpose either.
  • Stop building links to a domain which is low on authority and has previous links pointing to your site.
  • Leverage automated robots to build second-tier links.

Your Final Takeaways

Build second-tier links not just for better search rankings; do it for attracting some quality traffic to your site. A multiple link strategy can be used for spamming purposes, but when used legitimately can work wonders for your content through the site that links back to you.

Have questions? Write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

GOOGLE INTRODUCES CLICK-TO-CALL FEATURE IN MOBILE’S ORGANIC SERPS

click-to-call

After successfully testing the Click-to-Call feature for ads and local business listings, Google’s now testing it out for its organic mobile SERPs.

Over the years, the Click-to-Call feature has helped Google in expanding its advertising base and it would now be hoping to replicate the success with mobile’s organic search rankings as well. This new development at Google’s end was first noticed by @ryschill. This is the picture he shared on his Twitter profile.


Google, through its previous endeavors, allowed searchers to call businesses directly through their Business Ad Listing and from their local listing NAP citations. But this is the first time that Google is trying to leverage the organic platform.

Seems like Google’s in an experimental mode these days, which it needs to maintain its position as the number one ranking search engine.

Have you seen it yet? Please report it to us by writing at sales@ebrandz.com.

GOOGLE NOW ENABLES USERS TO CUSTOMIZE THEIR GOOGLE APP EXPERIENCE

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Last week, Google rolled out an update to Google Now that allows users to customize their Google App experience. As reported by 9to5′s Social Media Channel, a mere tap on Google Now will display a range of animated logos. The users are not only allowed to select their favorite logo, but also to adjust the logo color according to their own tastes. Users can see their customized Google App version displayed at the top of the stream.

According to the 9to5Google.com report, users with Google App’s latest version installed on their devices can use the new and updated Google Now feature. So, if you’re bored of the Google App showing up in the same standard colors, then you can switch them to your own favorite ones by using the finger paint-like feature that is included within the app.

“Users will notice an enlarged Google logo that occupies the fill width of their device. At first it is shown in its normal colors, but it will slowly fade into white. Whatever part of the logo a user taps will be filled with a splotch of color. Every touch changes the color and by the end users will have a uniquely colored Google logo.”

As per 9to5Google.com, the slow to load app update will sport some new animated icons like a magnifying search glass, a musical note, eating utensils and other relevant search images instead of the animated blue circle that used to indicate search progress.

Google always puts user experience on the top of its priority list and the new update is a continuation of that process.

What do you think about this change? Send in your comments to sales@ebrandz.com.

US SMARTPHONE OWNERS WILL OUTGROW ITS DESKTOP INTERNET USERS BY MID-2017

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If comScore’s recent Mobile and App report is anything to go by, then mobile users may soon overtake desktop internet users in the US market by 2017. According to comScore’s theory, the overall tally of smartphone owners in the US market has grown to be around 79.1% of total mobile users, which is marginally below the 79.3% growth reported in December last year.

comScore’s recent stats show no significant movement in the mobile market share value on a monthly basis. The slow growth is giving rise to a search market scenario where over a period of time the figures remain largely stagnant.

Talking about mobile OS market share value, on one hand, the Android and iOS users are separated by a nine-point gap; while on the other hand, Microsoft’s Windows OS platform has reached its saturation level. The declining number of BlackBerry users isn’t helping Blackberry’s cause either. This is making the mobile OS race a two-sided affair, where Microsoft and Blackberry OS are on the decline and Android and iOS are calling the shots.

As far as the mobile app market share value is concerned, the two major players i.e. Facebook and Google Apps continue to dominate the top App rankings, solely on the basis of their reach and not as per the engagement levels or the duration of time spent. Surprisingly, the popularity of YouTube and the use of Google Play Store to install apps have managed to overwhelm the Google Search App, both in term of ranking and use. This is owing to the inherent differences in desktop and mobile user behaviour.

Coming back to the smartphone penetration levels, the estimated figure largely depends upon the number of mobile users. While there have been many media estimates about the exact number of mobile users, a recent CTIA report states that the US mobile phone penetration is close to 104%. This brings us to a conclusion that the number of mobile phones in the US (which is over 300 million handsets) would possibly outnumber the total US population.

According to comScore’s recent findings, as of March 2016 the tally of smartphone owners in US is around 198.5 million. If we divide this number by the 300 million users then the we get 66% smartphone penetration in the US. The number is a bit low if we happen to divide the smartphone owners figure by 250 million users. That brings the smartphone penetration level tally to 76%. Going by comScore’s previous calculation, if we include American users from age 13 years and above then we get a figure of 234 million, which when divided gives us a healthy 84% tally.

According to CIRP’s (Consumer Intelligence Research Partners) mid-February data, the total number of iPhones in the US mobile market is around 110 million handsets. If the total iPhone handsets share in the US market actually comes to 44% markup, then going by the CIRP data we get a rough estimate of 250 million US mobile users.

Irrespective of the correctness of the figures, the overall tally of US mobile users was expected to cross the 80% threshold by February end this year. And by March end, the percentage is predicted to escalate to about 85%. For a population of under 40, the penetration rates even improved to about 90%.

Talking about the number of US desktop and mobile users, comScore report states that there are 234 million sedentary internet users as compared to the ever increasing base of smartphone owners, which is likely to overtake the number of internet users by mid-2017.

If you still haven’t converted your website to adapt well on small screens and to the growing userbase, it’s time to act soon. Check out our mobile website design services to get started. Or email us at sales@ebrandz.com and our reps will be in touch within 24 business hours.

BUSINESSES WITH RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN GENERATE 24% MORE MOBILE EMAIL CLICKS THAN BUSINESSES WITHOUT ONE

mobile-marketing

Mobile traffic now accounts to more than half of the total internal traffic to a site. This makes responsive web design an important factor for businesses to consider. According to Yesmail’s recent Email Marketing report, businesses using responsive web designs for all of their mobile email marketing communications end up attracting 24% more clicks than those who don’t. This report can act as a wake-up call for many businesses, since only 17% of businesses have become a part of the online responsive web design community.

For its last year’s fourth Quarter Benchmark report, Yesmail carried out an online research to study the impact of a site with responsive web design on smartphone users and desktop email open and click through rates. The report also takes into account the ever-so increasing number of mobile users significantly impacting the mobile revenue, both in terms of orders and Average Order Value (AOV) surge.

Mobile Opens and Clicks

The study shows that 58% of all email clicks for businesses using responsive web design for their email marketing communication, come from mobile email click through users. 46.7% of all email clicks come through mobile clicks for businesses that don’t use responsive web designs. This is how businesses that use responsive web designs are attracting 24% more clicks than businesses that don’t use them.

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Yesmail’s findings suggest that mobiles are accounting for more than half of all email opens and clicks, irrespective of whether a business is sporting a site with a responsive design or not.

CTO Rates

In addition to the 24% higher email clicks incentive, the study shows that business that transformed to a responsive web design pattern enjoyed an increase in their mobile email CTO (click-to-open) rate by 55% and desktop CTO rate by 23%.

On one hand, businesses running their email marketing campaigns with responsive web designs at the fore lead an average of 16.2% mobile CTO as compared to 10.4% mobile CTO generated by businesses having a site with non-responsive design.

And on the other hand, businesses that ran desktop email campaigns with responsive web design lead to an average 15.7% CTO as compared to 12.7% CTO generated by businesses with non-responsive email campaigns.

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From the above stats, it’s pretty clear that responsive web designs help businesses attract high email marketing ROI for campaigns run on both desktop and mobile platforms.

Proportion of Brands Using Responsive Web Design

The findings also suggest that businesses are a bit reluctant in embracing the responsive web design culture. They pointed out that only 17% businesses are using responsive web design for all of their email communications, with around 38% leveraging it mostly for their email communications.

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Around 26% businesses aren’t using the responsive design as part of their email marketing communications.

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The study shows that there’s a 10% rise in businesses using email marketing communications, which also indicates that the number of consumers receiving marketing emails has grown. Besides that, it suggests that the gap between mobile and desktop CTO rates is decreasing as well.

Desktop vs. Mobile CTO Rates

The study pointed out that in last couple of years desktop CTO rates have dropped by 29%, whereas the mobile CTO rates have surged by 26%.

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Desktop vs. Mobile Email Clicks

This shows that mobile email clicks and desktop email click rates have evened out, with mobile accounting for almost 49.2% clicks while desktop saw a 50.8% click rate.

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Mobile Commerce

When it comes to mobile commerce facts, Yesmail’s findings suggest that mobile revenue generated over 25% of all email-driven revenue and accounted for 30% of all email-driven orders in last year’s fourth quarter, with mobile email revenue witnessing a 13% yearly surge and mobile orders increasing by about 9%.

mobile-revenue-orders

On the other hand, mobile AOV orders are witnessing a growth of 15% on yearly basis, which is still lesser than desktop AOVs, as mobile AOV contributed $104 while desktop AOV contributed $132 in last year’s fourth quarter.

aov-yoy

aov

From this study, it is quite evident that businesses need to have a responsive design in order to capitalize on mobile traffic. If you are in need of mobile website design, we can assist. Just check out our mobile website design services. You can also write to us at sales@ebrandz.com or call 1-888-545-0616 (Toll-Free).

Graph image credits: http://www.yesmail.com/resources/whitepaper/q4-2015-email-marketing-compass 

BING INCLUDES AN INTERACTIVE MAP FEATURE TO PROVIDE BASIC ASTRONOMICAL EDUCATION

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Now a Bing search on solar system gives you basic astronomical information about how the planets in our solar system through a cool interactive map. The map shows how the nine planets along with stars rotate in our galaxy. Not only that you can even change the rotating speed and direction of the planets and that will take you in a different time zone. To know basic planetary information, rotate the map and hover the mouse on different planets. This will fetch you information such as their Mass, Radius, Age and Speed in kilometers per second.

Here’s a snapshot of Bing’s cool interactive map.

solar-system-bing

Let’s see what Microsoft’s spokesperson said about this cool interactive map feature through a reddit post:

“The developer worked really hard on it! Also, it should show up on all desktop browsers and m.bing.com on iOS and Android in any English-speaking market. We’re going to be shipping this feature and our other educational features to more countries soon.”

With that said, this unique map feature from Bing works on mobile platform as well.

Write to us at sales@ebrandz.com in case you want more information or want to give your feedback on the subject.

8 WAYS TO RANK HIGHER IN YOUTUBE SEARCH RESULTS

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YouTube is not only the biggest & most popular video sharing platform, but it’s also the 2nd most used search engine on the internet. And as you already know that visual content is currently ruling the web, you must host your videos on YouTube as it can get your business a lot of exposure.

Unfortunately, you are not the only one who will be trying to enlarge the business using YouTube. So how will you secure higher ranks for your videos in YouTube’s search results?

Well, there are some tricks & methods using which you can boost your rankings on YouTube.

  1. Customized URL
    The first thing you’ll need to do is optimize your YouTube page. There are many aspects you can work on to make it more user-friendly, which will improve your rankings. If you have 500+ subscribers and your channel is more than thirty days old then you can claim for a vanity URL. A memorable & catchy URL will benefit you in many ways.
  1. Establish yourself as an authority
    Establish your brand authority by adding your website’s URL in the “associated website” section. Also, add links to your social media pages. But before adding your website URL, make sure that your site is well designed & has proper content structure.
  1. Customize Your YouTube Homepage
    Take some time and setup your home page correctly. To increase discoverability, include relevant keywords in your description. The “featured video” is your chance to engage the audience, as it starts to play automatically. So ensure you set the best video for it.  Try highlighting your playlist so that users can navigate through your videos easily.
  1. Increase video engagement
    To rank higher in YouTube search results, higher views alone will not do the trick, as YouTube also consider the total time spent as a ranking factor. You may have seen many videos that show something else in the picture and then turn out to be a scam.  So your video must not only attract but also engage users for as long as possible.
  1. Optimize the Title And Description
    Title & description of your videos play a major role in boosting your ranking. Including relevant keywords in title is crucial; but don’t overdo it or else you will make your title too complex to understand. Keep it short, simple yet descriptive. I know it’s hard, but road to success is never easy!
  1. Tag the way you Search
    Tagging your videos correctly is the key to getting maximum views. The best rule to follow while tagging videos is to “tag the way your search”. For instance: If you give SEO tips then you could use “SEO tips for websites”, “Beginners guide to search engine optimization”, “SEO tips for YouTube”. Long tail keywords are better than single keywords as they boost the chances of your video being found for those terms and the competition will be less for niche-specific terms.
  1. Add Transcripts
    Adding transcripts to your videos also helps in gaining higher search rankings as it informs search engine bots exactly what the video is about. It gives the bots lots of relevant text to crawl & your keywords also occur more naturally this way. But make sure that that the transcripts are 100% correct & are in the same language used in the video.
  1. Increase the number of Likes and Shares on your videos
    The number of likes, shares & comments also boost your rankings. Include embedded videos on your website & ensure that your website has one-click social sharing button. Post your videos on as many social platforms as possible. Reach out to the bloggers of your niche and ask them to upload your content or mention the link in their blogs. You can also market them via emails, but expect very little click through because people generally don’t click on video links on emails.

Conclusion

By understanding the ranking algorithm you can manipulate it a little in order to rank higher in YouTube videos. But ultimately, it all comes to content. So these tips & tricks will work best if you have “Great Content”.

If you have any other trick up your sleeves, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com. Would love to hear from you.